While France moves to ban “fake news,” German policymakers realize that speech restrictions empower critics

The historic struggle for freedom of speech and press is filled with stories of anonymous pamphleteers who overcame state repression to claim victory over darkness.

Governments have historically sought to ban speech which is critical of government. Sometimes government officials claim such speech spreads “sedition,” or promotes violence, or allows “millionaires and billionaires” to control elections, or is “fake news,” or is “hate speech.”

French president Emmanuel Macron is now moving to ban “fake news” (as defined by the government, of course).

While in Germany, government officials who have banned “hate speech” are discovering that their ban actually empowers government critics.

The biggest selling German newspaper, is now openly declaring that the German government’s new censorship law “failed on its very first day” and should be abolished immediately. The law, said Bild‘s editor, is turning anti-immigrant politicians into “opinion martyrs.”

Intended to prevent radical groups from gaining influence, the new law appears to be having precisely the opposite effect. See here.